With news of the Max Madrid lawsuit that benefits a Claudia Alvarez candidacy for a fourth term, we’ve received a number of data points that argue against Madrid’s efforts to help his ally stay in power.
Let’s review Measure D, which an outside counsel has already determined Alvarez is ineligible to run.
Measure D, oddly which was advocated by Alvarez in 2008, did these three things:
1. Measure D only changed the number of consecutive terms that a person may on the city council from two terms to three terms, before being subject to an 8-year waiting period.
2. No specific date langauage appeared in either Measure D or Measure BB on when this change formally began.
3. There was no determination that Measure BB reset the number of consecutive terms for incumbent Councilmembers when it was adopted in November 2006; as Measure D followed Measure BB’s model, there was no determination that Measure D “reset” the number of consecutive terms of incumbent Councilmembers when Measure D was adopted in 2008. There is no ambiguity in the term “reset” as the term does not appear.
From the Santa Ana City Charter:
1. City Councilmembers can not serve more than three consecutive terms of four years.
2. City Councilmembers can only serve again as a City Councilmember eight years after completion of that Councilmember’s third consecutive full term.
Measure D made one small change to Section 401 of the City Charter regarding Councilmembers’ term limits: a number from two terms to three. Alvarez was only thinking of 2008 when Measure D was drafted not 2012 or 2016. Not specifying a “reset” of terms is more than likely an oversight on the part of those seeking to add an extra term for Alvarez, looking only near term and not long term.
Neither Measure D or Measure changed the City Charter to include any date specific language about when the changes began. As a precedent, legal experts point to the 1986 Measure G decision which added date specific language “Prior to the general election in 1988” to Section 101.1 of the City Charter that clarified when the city would be divided into six wards instead of seven 7 wards.
The only date mentioned in Measure D pertains to the Santa Ana City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis, which says: “the amendments would be in effect for the November 2008 General Election.” No reset date. No data. No date. Squat. Nothing. Nada.
Alvarez was the only candidate on the November 2008 ballot who benefited from and was affected by the passage of Measure D. Alvarez was first elected in 2000 and re-elected in November 2004. Measure D’s passage in February 2008 allowed her to run for a third term consecutive and final term. It’s well known she has sought a loop hole in the law for months and is betting the house on the unspecified “reset” language to allow her to run for a fourth and fifth term. She is eligible to run for Mayor and most political experts in Santa Ana say Miguel Pulido would cream her in a head-to-head election.
We’re told outside counsel reviewed city law, county laws, and state laws to determine any window for Alvarez to run and the lawyers said no.
Madrid’s standing as an “injured” party is weak at best.
There’s been a big discussion about the hositle work environment allegedly created at the County of Orange by Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante. Former Santa Ana city commission Tish Leon sent a letter to City Manager Paul Walters that suggests it is Alvarez creating a hostile work environment in Santa Ana City Hall. Her note to Walters is below:
Dear Paul Walters:
I’m writing this email to express my outrage in the treatment of the City Clerk, Maria Huizar.
This law suit that Commissioner Max Madrid brought against her & the City is ludicrous. Many know that Claudia Alvarez is behind this action and that the Mayor is supporting her. The shenanigans that they pull is obscene.
What is pathetic is the fact that Claudia Alvarez, has been bullying Maria to the point of creating a hostile work environment. And she has been allowed to get away with it.
This law suit is the last straw that anyone should endure. If this type of behavior happened in the private sector, Claudia would have been reprimanded immediately. However because she is a councilmember, she has been allowed to behave this way. As the City Manager you have the duty to investigate this matter & correct this immediately.
As for Max Madrid, he should be removed from the Parks & Rec Commission, for suing the city. And he has the audacity to ask that the city pay for this suit…Really?
Has he been living under a rock!! Does he not know the financial status of this city?
I have served this City as a Commissioner and as a strong activist. I do this because I believe that the City of SA has great potential and a great city to live in. However, I am disgusted & embarrassed by the behavior of Claudia Alvarez & Max Madrid.
I am asking you, no I’m demanding, that you take charge of this situation.
A telling detail in Leon’s letter is Madrid is seeking the city to pay court costs and legal fees for him filing this lawsuit. Should he lose, the city will almost certainly seek reimbursement of legals fees to fight the lawsuit. Madrid may be hung out to dry financially.
What’s going to be interesting abount Monday’s City Council meeting is how many residents show up for the next chapter in the Carlos Bustamante saga and how many show up in support or condemnation of Claudia Alvarez.